publications

Henry Ford in Fremont

Henry Ford’s arrival in Fremont in August of 1916 to vacation and to attend a widely advertised tractor show there attracted statewide attention. The show was one of many staged in the Midwest from 1913 to 1919 to encourage the growth of power farming by demonstrating that tractors could be more efficient than horses or mules. Strenuous efforts were made by reporters to interview Ford during his stay in Nebraska, but the reclusive manufacturer avoided them whenever possible.



“Henry Ford and his party of officials and workmen, numbering about 25 persons, arrived in Fremont yesterday at 11:30 a.m.,” said the Fremont Evening Tribune on August 7, 1916, “and were taken at once to the Wolz camp on Fremont island in the Platte river that had been put in readiness for the noted manufacturer. Although Mr. Ford had requested that no public reception be given him a big crowd of curious ones, including a big sprinkling of women, was at Union station to greet the noted manufacturer. . . .



“As Mr. Ford stepped from the rear end of the [railroad] car which brought him and his party from Detroit a moving picture operator had his machine lined up for a shot at the famous manufacturer. Mr. Ford had spied the operator and ducked his head as he walked hurriedly through the lane through the crowd to the waiting automobile.



“Included in the party are Mr. Ford’s son, Edsel, superintendents of the Ford factories at Detroit and Dearborn and employees of the tractor factory which is located at Dearborn. An orchestra of six pieces will furnish music for the camping party during its stay at Fremont. [The group also performed each evening at the local high school.] That the culinary department will be well looked after a chef was brought out from Omaha who will have charge of this feature of the camp.”



The Tribune said of Ford’s camp that it was “closely guarded against intruders and none was admitted beyond the Hormel bridge where officers were stationed to turn back the curious. Mr. Ford refused to see the newspaper men. He said that he was here for a vacation and to attend the tractor show as an interested spectator. The Ford tractor would be shown, but it was understood that it was not yet on the market and none would be offered for sale.



“The camp houses occupied by the Detroit visitors have been handsomely refinished. They provide a splendid place for an outing during the warm tractor week. Mr. Ford plans to put in much time looking over his beautiful surroundings. He will be at Ford headquarters at the tractor grounds each day.”



The Fremont tractor show attracted more than 250 tractors from 50 different companies. Fourteen plow manufacturers also displayed their wares. The value of all machinery on the grounds was placed at $1,000,000, while sales reached $1,300,000.


Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society RG2955.ph).   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.